India's COVID dead passes 250,000

India's coronavirus death toll passed a quarter of a million people on Wednesday (May 12), in its worst 24 hours since the pandemic began, continuing to break national records and with no certainty over when it may peak.

We must warn you that there are disturbing images in this report.

Around 4,000 deaths are being registered each day in India, although many experts say the actual toll could be five to ten times higher. There are so many dead, that with cremation centers remaining overwhelmed -- resorting to burning in parking lots -- scores of bodies are also being found washed ashore in the River Ganges.

The bodies have been put in the river by family members, after some towns ran out of wood to keep the cremations going.

Part of the reason why experts believe the toll is so much higher than the official count is because so many are dying without a doctor on hand to register a death certificate. Even when a doctor is available, COVID isn't listed as the cause of death unless the the person was previously tested, and most aren't.

Lack of supplies continues to worsen the situation.

The virus is also spreading rapidly into rural areas, which don't have the hospital infrastructure of the big cities. This man, who brought a loved one to a rural clinic, told us no doctor has been visiting them, no one has told them what medicine to administer, and no one would bring precious oxygen. They eventually had to go get it themselves.

A women's college in Kerala has converted itself into what it calls an "oxygen war room," staffed by volunteers, to safeguard the supplies and do what they can.

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